The Family Portrait
'I'd like to take some photographs of you - in your garden' said the Moosey House Guest the other day. My heart fluttered - my old lady-gardener face, lines and wrinkles like the leaf textures of my favourite plants, was required for a portrait.
Head Gardener and Rake
What should I wear? A blue chambray shirt, a spotty bandana, a skirt? I could find my red secateurs, and hold them boldly. After all, I am allowed some gardening props.
Should I brush my hair? Wear my spectacles? I've been told they make me look intelligent - do people prefer their gardeners to look intelligent? Hmm...
Like the Moosey animals, I'm a bit nervous of the Moosey House Guest. He's Australian, which is embarrassing when one is trying to watch cricket (they always beat us).
He doesn't allow cats or kittens to jump onto the kitchen benches - what a meany! Rooster is terrified of the outdoor broom (the chooks once tried roosting in a tree outside the House Guest's bedroom window).
A Real Photographer!
The House Guest does have his good points, though. He is pretty useful around the place - he splits firewood, and cooks super-sticky rice risottos - and he's quite adventurous. He's even been to Antarctica - three times! The scariest thing about him is that he is a real photographer.
On the day of the 'shoot' my camera-nerves overcame me. I decided it was the perfect day to hide in the undergrowth of Middle Border, and nip slowly at a Pittosporum. I'd been meaning to prune it for ages, of course.
Family Heirloom Portrait
The Perfect Hiding Place
The water race burbling by would mask all pruning noises, and the access paths could be blocked with pruned vegetation. No-one could possibly find me - and if they did, I'd be extremely hard to extricate.
It worked for a while, but then puppy gave away my hiding place. The puzzled Moosey House Guest pushed his way through the Golden Hop, and emerged on Middle path, bearing tripod, camera and notebook.
'You're extremely hard to find' he said. Oops! There was no escape, so I clung tightly to the saw and peeped carefully around the side of the Pittosporum.
I put on my flustered, messy, really busy, go-away-I'm-concentrating look. 'Perfect' he said, 'Don't move'...
The Final Photograph
It ended up being quite fun. Stephen and the puppy posed with me for an heirloom family portrait. The spirit of the head gardener (looking decidedly grubby) has been faithfully recorded - with two of her best friends - in an arty black and white photograph.
I can always wear the blue chambray shirt and brush my hair next time...